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Johann Sebastian Bach – Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 – The Netherlands Bach Society, Jos van Veldhoven (2003) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 – The Netherlands Bach Society, Jos van Veldhoven (2003)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 02:25:06 minutes | 4.48 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: channelclassics.com | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Channel Classics Records B.V.
Recorded: Muziekcentrum Frits Philips, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, December 2002.

Bachs Christmas Oratorio Johann Sebastian Bachs Oratorium Tempore Nativitatis Christi, a cycle of six cantatas for the Christmas season, had its collective premiere from Christmas Day 1734 through Epiphany Sunday 1735 in Leipzig. One of Bachs reasons for these performances was his search for a more permanent home for the music of three large-scale occasional works. The music involved was that of the three cantatas (Drammae per Musica) for members of the princely house of Saxony: Hercules auf der Scheidewege BWV 213 (September 1733) (Hercules at the Crossroads), written for the eleventh birthday of Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony; Tnet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! BWV 214 (December 1733) (Sound, ye drums! Burst forth, ye trumpets!), written for the birthday of Maria Josepha, Crown Princess of Saxony and Queen of Poland, and mother of Friedrich Christian; and Preise dein Glcke, gesegnetes Sachsen BWV 215 (October 1734) (Praise thy good fortune, o blessed Saxony), written for the first anniversary of the accession of Augustus II, Crown Prince of Saxony and King of Poland. These cantatas provide the lions share of the arias and choruses for the first four cantatas of the Christmas Oratorio. The fifth cantata, in contrast, is almost completely composed of original material, and the sixth is based as a whole on a single church cantata, which has not survived in its original form. The choice may well have been due to the fact that BWV 213-215, in a sense, comprised a sort of cyclic whole, making use of similar styles of text and music. But the most important reason for this large-scale parody composition was, of course, the musical quality and festive atmosphere of the three Saxon cantatas, which could easily be translated to the Christmas story. Bach commissioned his (unknown) librettist to rewrite the chorus and aria texts in such a way that this music could essentially be re-used unaltered, but as might be expected, he could not resist the temptation to introduce numerous improvements to the original compositions as he rewrote them. Bachs surviving clean final copy of the 1734 full score provides fascinating documentation for this process. He also had a handsome libretto printed separately, above all to make it clear to his fellow citizens of Leipzig and the audience that this was a major Oratorio, in spite of its performance being spread out over the course of six Sundays and two weeks. In later years, some have been uncomfortable with the secular origins of the Christmas Oratorio: the concept that music from a group of princely birthday cantatas could also serve to celebrate the birth of Christ was difficult to accept. But in the period before the Enlightenment, reigning heads of state were seen in a theological context: their office was conferred by God and was seen as completely separate from their physical bodies and good (or bad) deeds. For this reason, music written for these Kings was by its very definition highly suitable for the birthday of that other King, Christ, and most fit to sing the praises of the Ruler of the Heavens. –Pieter Dirksen

Tracklist:
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachtsoratorium), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7)

Disc 1
I. Cantata for Christmas Day
01. Jauchzet, frohlocket, aufpreiset die Tage
02. Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit
03. Nun wird mein liebster Bräutigam
04. Bereite dich, Zion, mit zärtlichen Trieben
05. Wie soll ich dich empfangen
06. Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn
07. Er ist auf Erden kommen arm
08. Großer Herr, o starker König
09. Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein

II. Cantata for the Second Day of Christmas
10. Sinfonia
11. Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend
12. Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht
13. Und der Engel sprach zu ihnen
14. Was Gott dem Abraham verheißen
15. Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet
16. Und das habt zum Zeichen
17. Schaut hin! dort liegt im finstern Stall
18. So geht denn hin, ihr Hirten, geht
19. Schlafe, mein Liebster, genieße der Ruh
20. Und alsobald war da bei dem Engel
21. Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe
22. So recht, ihr Engel, jauchzet und singet
23. Wir singen dir in deinem Heer

III. Cantata for the Third Day of Christmas
24. Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen
25. Und da die Engel von ihnen gen Himmel fuhren
26. Lasset uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem
27. Er hat sein Volk getröst’
28. Dies hat er alles uns getan
29. Herr, dein Mitleid, dein Erbarmen
30. Und sie kamen eilend
31. Schließe, mein Herze, dies selige Wunder
32. Ja, ja, mein Herz soll es bewahren
33. Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren
34. Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um
35. Seid froh dieweil

Disc 2

IV. Cantata for New Year’s Day
01. Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben
02. Und da acht Tage um waren
03. Immanuel, o süßes Wort
04. Flößt, mein Heiland, flößt dein Namen
05. Wohlan, dein Name soll allein
06. Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben
07. Jesus richte mein Beginnen

V. Cantata for the Sunday after New Year’s Day
08. Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen
09. Da Jesu geboren war zu Bethlehem
10. Wo ist der neugeborne König der Jüden
11. Dein Glanz all Finsternis verzehrt
12. Erleucht auch mein finstre Sinnen
13. Da das der König Herodes hörte
14. Warum wollt ihr erschrecken
15. Und liess versammeln alle Hohepriester
16. Ach, wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen
17. Mein Liebster herrschet schon
18. Zwar ist solche Herzensstube

VI. Cantata for Epiphany
19. Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben
20. Da berief Herodes die Weisen heimlich
21. Du Falscher, suche nur den Herrn zu fällen
22. Nur ein Wink von seinen Händen
23. Als sie nun den König gehöret hatten
24. Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier
25. Und Gott befahl ihnen im Traum
26. So geht! Genug, mein Schatz geht nicht von hier
27. Nun mögt ihr stolzen Feinde schrecken
28. Was will der Höllen Schrecken nun
29. Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen

Personnel:
The Netherlands Bach Society
Jos van Veldhoven – conductor
Johannette Zomer – soprano
Annette Markert – alto
Gerd Türk – tenor
Peter Harvey – bass

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